Sunday Salon 38: First Time Discoveries

Posted 20 February, 2011 by Trish in Reading Nook / 28 Comments


Good morning Saloners! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. I spent most of the day yesterday working on a continuing education course for my insurance license and baking sugar cookies with my sister. Today will be a chore day and more continuing ed (unfortunately this will last throughout the end of the month), and hopefully some Ulysses and maybe even a walk outside? Time flies too quickly, that I do know for sure!

First Time Discoveries

I was racking my brain trying to think of a topic for today’s Sunday Salon when I remembered a brief twittersation I had with Ana from Things Mean A Lot and Andi from Estella’s Revenge. Andi was Atonement by Ian McEwan and I commented that it’s one of those books that I wish I could read again for the first time. I can’t explain why without giving spoilers to the book, but there are several books that while I would love to re-read them one day, I wish even more that I could have the pleasure of reading the book for the first time.

There are some books that are so magical or so surprising or twisted or unexpected or…you know…that there’s really no experience like reading them through for the first time. Sure, the second reading might give you more insight and you might pick up on some of the foreshadowing, but you’ll never have that moment back again when things click into place and you say aloud “Ha!” because you’ve finally got it. Honestly I don’t think this has to be a book with a twist–but more a book that contains a moment of discovery.

Some books I wish I could read again for the first time (unfortunately I can’t tell you why, but of course if I wish I could read these again I recommend them!):

Atonement – Ian McEwan

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

I also want to use The Book Thief but didn’t because I counted it as a Freezer Book last week. I’d love to read it for the first time not knowing anything about it. Actually, having just said that I realize that maybe this is why I like going into a book without knowing anything about it! The moment of discovery is just too delicious.

Sunday’s Questions:
Are there books that you wish you could read and experience again for the first time? Which ones? Do you enjoy a book that surprises you or do you prefer comfort in your books? (again, by surprise I don’t necessarily mean “twist” just unexpected in some way).

Looking Back to Last Week
-Last Sunday I asked about everyone’s Freezer Books
-I shared a very special Valentine’s Memory/Disaster
Little Miss Baby Billy Sue is Growing and other random Wednesday Thoughts
-I wasn’t crazy about The Knife of Never Letting Go

Looking Forward to Next Week
Well, tomorrow is supposed to be Jousting with Joyce but since I’ve only read 20 pages in the past two weeks (yes folks, you read that correctly), I’m not sure I’ll make it. Might just have to do a brief post. I’m hoping to get in a recipe or two for Whip Up Something New challenge (Make sure you check out this month’s challenge if you haven’t yet!!). Really looking forward to this month being behind me–note to self: don’t procrastinate on continuing education again!

Happy Sunday to you all!!

28 Responses to “Sunday Salon 38: First Time Discoveries”

  1. Out of the books you have chosen, I have only read Rebecca, so it looks like I will get to discover them soon! Good luck with your studying.

  2. I feel the same way about Atonement. I loved that book, and it’s sad to think that I can’t experience it in the same way ever again. I still remember, years later, how I felt when I read that final chapter.

  3. I agree with you on Rebecca and Atonement. I’m trying to think of what else I would say, but I’m struggling…and while it doesn’t have a twist, I might say Pride and Prejudice. When I read it the first time, I didn’t know the story, so I was completely enthralled in it.

    I haven’t read any Ulysses either. I have so much to read before that post….I think I might just procrastinate and leave it to read until tomorrow morning. :)

  4. Trish I love how you categorize books. and I agree, Atonement was (is) amazing. If I ever wanted kids I would name my girl Briony. (Could I get away with naming a dog that?)

  5. Depending on my mood, I enjoy surprises and comfort reads. I’d like to read The Diary of Anne Frank and Little Women for the very first time.

  6. *Vivienne – Oooh, some of these are favorites of mine–read them! Read them! And thanks about the studying. It’s test as you go, so not difficult, but it’s tough to buckle down and get it done.

    *Kristi – I know just what you mean about Atonement. I finished reading the book on the plane and I couldn’t keep myself from bursting into tears! Would love to read it again for the first time.

    *Allie – Classics are good ones–but it’s amazing how much we know about those books going into the readings just because of pop culture! I love discovering a classic that I know nothing about before hand. And I’m with you on Ulysses. Yikes! ;)

    *Christina – LOL–well I’m running out of Sunday Salon ideas so if you have any suggestions! ;) Oh, what a brat Briony was–maybe better for a dog than a child. Ha!! :D

    *Kim – The Blind Assassin was so good, huh? I remember knowing something was up with the story but still would love to rediscover that one!

    *Bermuda – It would be so interesting to read Little Women for the first time again! Without knowing what happens to the characters (though I admit the ending still makes me mad…). ;)

  7. Are there books that you wish you could read and experience again for the first time? Which ones? Do you enjoy a book that surprises you or do you prefer comfort in your books?

    No. None. No. No.

    Okay, seriously, though, yes, with A Prayer for Owen Meany at the top of the list. The River Why by David James Duncan is right there with it. I like surprises in my books AND I like comfort in my books, so yes to both. :)

  8. I’m with you on The Thirteenth Tale – loved that book, it was so magical. I like books that surprise me – or perhaps I should say, books that I don’t have a lot of expectation for, but then blow me out of the water! I also like a good “comfort” book from time to time. Books that I would like to read again for the first time? The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood…there’s more, but my comment is already long enough!

  9. I’m not sure that there’s a book that I’d choose to read again for the first time. I do love surprises and the new experience, but there are so many good books I’ve had in the couple years!

    I do wish I could experience The Giver again. That’s the first book I read almost all the way through – hiding from the family to get more pages in – and I think it’s when I fell in love with books. That was something I think you only get to experience one, and it was thrilling!

  10. I’m still waiting for that book I wish I could reread for the first time. There are plenty of books I’d love to reread eventually–but none I wish I could go into without having read it before.

    I love books that surprise me but I also enjoy a good comfort book. There’s a time and place for both in my reading.

  11. I haven’t yet read Atonement or The Thirteenth Tale…or many of the others you mentioned. Atonement is on my stacks, and while I haven’t read it, I’ve seen the movie.

    I guess I’d love to read Rebecca again for the first time. It’s been many years since I read it, so I’m wondering if it will feel like the first time?


  12. The Thirteenth Tale would definitely be one. Another is East of Eden and Little Women. I’d love the magic of being able to experience them for the first time again. I do have to mention. The Harry Potter books too because it would be great to know nothing a out them and get to experience that journey again.

    Have a great week Trish!

  13. I don’t like knowing much of anything about books I plan to read. I try to live under a rock. I very rarely read the backs of books unless I am just browsing a book store. And there are still some insanely hyped books that I want to read, but still have resisted because I want some time to go by.

    That being said, I also wish I could read The Thirteenth Tale and Rebecca for the first time again!

  14. Both Rebecca and The Thirteenth Tale are books that I am considering rereading for just these reasons. I do wish I could go back and read them for the first time though as well. Ummm…Joyce does not sound like a book for me. But good luck :)

  15. *Unfinished – Ohhh! Prayer for Owen Meany, huh? I haven’t read that one but have it on the shelf. You have me curious now. Haven’t heard of The River Why.

    *JoAnn – Yes, I wish I could read that one not knowing anything about it–P&P is one of those whose stories is so well-known!

    *Wendy – War and Peace, huh? I take it you liked the book!? I have to admit I’m a little put off by the length but would love to read it one day. Great answers for the rest!

    *Topher – You know, I considered writing about the book that made you fall in love with reading today–you’re right that it’s an experience that is absolutely enthralling!

    *Lit Feline – My list of re-reads is quite long as well–but so many to read for the first time, right? ;) I agree about comfort and surprises. Just depends on mood, huh?

    *Laurel-Rain – I wonder how reading Atonement would be after seeing the movie? Do you find you can read books after you’ve watched them on screen? I know what you mean about reading books so long after the first time that it feels like the first time!

    *Darlene – Third answer for Little Women today!! Oh, yes–it would be so fun to experience the Harry Potter books again for the first time! Without all the hype and movies. East of Eden is staring me down on the shelf–but it’s long. ;) Hope you have a great week too!

    *Kailana – I’m the same way as you, Kelly–I like to know very little about a book before going into it and will try to avoid hype for that reason. A few months ago I wrote about reading dust jackets for Sunday Salon and was surprised at how many like knowing about a book before starting!

    *Samantha – It’s hard when there’s a twist or surprise–sometimes you just wait an anticipate it’s coming! It would be awesome to read them for the first time again, though! Joyce is pretty much yuck. But just been a busy month. :-/

  16. I think the only books I would like ot reread for the first time would be Harry Potter. I wish I’d read them in order at the time they were published, so that I had years to wait between volumes. For the most part I like rereading books with the knowledge of what’s coming, because I get something completely new out of them the second time around, but Harry Potter…maybe it’s just because I’ve read them so many times, but I would love to have no knowledge at all so I could discover this new world all over again.

  17. I would agree with Atonement. 100%. One of my all time favorite reads. Ever. However, I can’t really think of any book in particular. I will have to think about this…

  18. Oh wow…I have so many books that I’d love to read again for the first time…the ones you named are EXCELLENT ones. But there are also books with no big twist or reveal that I just loved so much because of the way they changed me as a reader…books like The Witching Hour by Anne Rice and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card…American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I would LOVE to relive those experiences!!

  19. I was thinking about that this morning, only for movies. Which is weird, because I usually don’t think much about movies. But The Sixth Sense and Secret Window are two movies that that totally got me, and are never the same after that first viewing. I can’t think of any books, though…probably because it’s rare that I even think about rereading.

  20. I totally agree with you on Atonement! That was my first Ian McEwan book and I was wowed by his writing style in that book. However, I wasn’t that impressed with his other book, On Chesil Beach, and I think this has somewhat stopped me from reading the rest of his books. Nonetheless, I suppose I’d try to get to them later in the near future.

    And oh, I need to read Rebecca since I’ve heard nothing but raves about it.

    I can’t think of any titles on mind since I’ve too many books on my list which I’d love to read and experience again, but then again I knew I won’t have the time to re-read them any time soon since I feel I need to finish reading my TBR pile first. :P

  21. I know exactly what you mean about being able to read a book for the first time again. I might have to do my own post on this in the future after giving this some thought. Wonderful post, and I certainly agree about Atonement!

  22. All five of those are on my TBR! I always struggle with that question because the books I would most like to re-experience are also the ones that changed my life or outlook in some way and are such a part of who I am now. I’ll settle for reading your list for now:-)

  23. *Amanda – There are lots of books I’d love to re-read to pick up things I didn’t the first time, etc. Discovering Harry Potter for the first time again would be awesome!

    *Michelle – I really loved Atonement as well–have you read anything else by McEwan? I’ve been too afraid nothing else will live up!

    *Nymeth – Fingersmith is also a great one, though unfortunately I think I knew too much going into it–even just knowing there was a twist I was constantly on the lookout.

    *Lisa – I need to read Sophie’s Choice for the first time!! It’s haunting me from the shelves (it’s long!). Agree with your other choices-though I’m foggy on the details of Lovely Bones so it might be like reading it for the first time!

    *Chris – Totally agree about books taht change you as a reader. I have American Gods on my shelf–you’ve got me very curious to pick it up!

    *Softdrink – Oh yes–you can never watch The Sixth Sense the same way you would the first time!! Great example. I bet there are lots of movies that would fit this question.

    *Melody – I haven’t read anything else by McEwan either because I’m afraid it won’t live up. And yes, you need to read Rebecca!! It’s such a great book.

    *Lu – I had to scour my shelves for examples but then when I finished the post I kept thinking of more! If you ever write a post about it I look forward to it!!

    *Nomadreader – Haven’t read any of these?? Well, you’re in for a treat. I’d really recommend The Thirteenth Tale. Very appealing to book lovers! Enjoy. ;)

  24. The 13th Tale was such a treat! Totally loved it and probably should read it again becuase I devoured it so quickly.

    Atonement: Saw the movie but didn’t read the book. Did I spoil it for myself, or should I read the book anyway? I usually read first then see movie but my mom was nagging me to go :)

    I can;t think of any first time discoveries of my own at the moment. Oh well!